The Economically Smart Small Towns to Retire In

Lifestyle, National News
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Many may think retiring on a budget means sacrificing comfort in order to find the cheapest place to live, but that doesn’t have to be the case—especially for those interested in small-town living. As the number one resource for people searching for active adult communities in the United is the go-to website when retirement is on the horizon. Understanding not everyone wants to live in a big city or large community, the company researched the most affordable small towns to retire in 2019.

To identify the rankings, 55places used the U.S. Census to analyze metropolitan areas across the country with a population of 55,000 or less. From there, certain locations were eliminated based on local crime rates, cost of living, and extreme real estate prices, narrowing it down to 215 places. The remaining locations were determined based on 12 weighted data points, including median income and cost of living via Sperling’s Best Places, average home sale price, tax friendliness to retirees, active adult communities, local health care options, job growth based on the Milken Institute, AllTransitPerformance Score, and more.

The most affordable small towns to retire in 2019 include:

  1. Logan, Utah
  2. Wausau, Wisconsin
  3. Cedar Falls, Iowa
  4. Winchester, Virginia
  5. Dunedin, Florida
  6. West Lafayette, Indiana
  7. Concord, New Hampshire
  8. Cœur d’Alene, Idaho
  9. Mankato, Minnesota
  10. Neenah, Wisconsin
  11. Goshen, Indiana
  12. Blacksburg, Virginia
  13. BangorMaine
  14. Marion, Iowa
  15. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  16. Columbus, Indiana
  17. Dodge City, Kansas
  18. LewistonMaine
  19. Ithaca, New York
  20. Gainesville, Georgia

In addition, 55places surveyed its readers to uncover anticipated costs for buying a home for retirement when comparing it to the value of their current one. They found 26 percent of respondents answered “about the same,” 27 percent said “slightly less” and 24 percent said “much less.” And when specifically asked how much they expect their next home to cost, 30 percent said $200K or less, while 62 percent expect to pay $300K or less.

“Affordability is clearly a driving factor when purchasing a home for retirement,” said Danny Goodman, COO of “Whether retirees are looking to stay close to family, move to a warmer climate, adopt a low-maintenance lifestyle, or join the camaraderie that comes with active adult communities, the small towns recognized here offer practical options and attractive amenities at a reasonable price point.”

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